Eastham Great Pond Herring Run Restoration: Re-establishing connectivity along the coastal river continuum

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Adam J. Finkle; PWS; CERP

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In 2010, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in collaboration with the Cape Cod Conservation District (CCCD) launched the 10-year, $30-million-dollar Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project to restore 1,500 acres of salt marsh, improve fish passage to 4,200 acres of spawning habitat, and improve water quality to 7,300 acres of shellfish beds across 76 project sites. One of the sites, the Great Pond system in Eastham, Massachusetts links a series of four freshwater kettle hole ponds to Cape Cod Bay, providing essential fish habitat for a variety of diadromous fish species. The coastal rivers and freshwater ponds that make up the system are connected by a series of engineered fish passage structures, open sluiceways, and enclosed culverts. Failure and siltation of the Great Pond Road culvert restricted access to 27 acres of spawning habitat located further upstream in Deborah’s and Depot Ponds. Working in collaboration with Town officials and NRCS staff, Woods Hole Group explored alternatives to reestablish habitat connectivity along the coastal river continuum, developed comprehensive engineering and site restoration plans, and filed the Towns first Notice of Intent for Ecological Restoration, a specialized permit application for restoration-focused projects. The following presentation addresses the challenges associated with working on a small, restricted site, the factors that contributed to the selection of the preferred design, and the benefits of (and inherent shortcomings associated with) a designated permitting pathway for ecological restoration projects in Massachusetts.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program